Saturday, February 28, 2009

Quilt Lesson

I gave my friend Michelle her first quilting lesson today. Isn't it fun to share hobbies with friends?!? A few months ago we went shopping and the pattern "Reel Fine" appealed to her. She is an experienced sewer, so I assured her that while the pattern looks difficult, she could handle it step by step. She fell in love with some batiks:
(What looks like two pieces on the right is actually from a single piece of variegated fabric)
I made a sample of the pattern in EQ6 so she could see how the colors went together:

She cut everything for a queen size quilt in just a couple hours, and when she started sewing, she said, "You know, this isn't brain surgery." Yep, step by step is all it takes! She wants more lessons as she puts the blocks together. Oh wow, an excuse to quilt all day! "Sorry honey, Michelle needs my help...I'll be back in time for dinner." :-)

Here's a sneak peek of a quilt that will be entered in a show in a couple weeks. I'm about halfway done with the binding. I had fun with the meandering leaves.And I'm almost done with the body of baby K's knitted t-shirt. I love watching variegated yarn knit up. It's always a surprise.

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Pay it Forward

Since I was mentioned BY NAME on a friend's blog, I thought I'd rise to the challenge and join the Pay It Forward game. Here's how it works:

The first five people to respond to this post will get something made by me! My choice. For you.

This offer does have some restrictions and limitations:
- I make no guarantees that you will like what I make.
- What I create will be just for you.
- It'll be done in the next 12 months.
- You have no clue what it's going to be.
- I reserve the right to do something unusual.

The catch? You have to put this in your blog as well. Pass on the love!

I was intimidated at first with the pressure of creating for someone else...but I've been in lots of swaps for quilt blocks, hand-stamped art, and mini socks, so I know I can do it. And with a 12 month deadline...yeah, even with a toddler on the verge of potty training and a full time job, I think I can create a few special things. So to all my anonymous readers, now is the time to come out of the woodwork and comment!

Sunday, February 22, 2009


The final is the back of my sweater vest, with the center wedge added and the 2 halves grafted together. I didn't follow the instructions - I thought I knew how to do a wrap and turn! Oh well, it doesn't seem noticeable. The biggest problem is that it is HUGE. When I started this project (4 years ago) I just wanted to cast on something...don't you ever get the startitis itch?!? Well, for some silly reason I made the large, when the medium (4 inches smaller at the chest) would have been fine. And when you make the pieces seperately over many years, you don't realize that it's getting so big. Hubby was very supportive, saying a loose fit will be fine and it's only my second sweater project, etc. etc. What a sweetheart! Now I just need a hands-on seaming lesson and we'll see if a warm water bath can shrink it a tad.
The middle stage...stars for my Block of the Month project. Notice that they are only four and a half inches square. Lots of small pieces in this one. Now I'm anxious for the next step and I have to wait a whole week. That gives me time to finish the bindings, labels and hanging sleeves for my show quilts which are due soon.
And the beginning stage. When my LYS closed, there were just a few odd balls of yarn that I thought would make something cute for Baby K. I decided on a little tank top with a ruffle at the top.

Finally, a shout out to my brother. Hop over to his blog. When he recovers from jetlag, there will be cute pictures of the baby he is adopting from Russia. Of course, I enjoy his sense of humor on just about everything so the baby pictures are just a bonus. I love you, bro!

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Start and Finish

First, a cat. I love it when she perches in the window!

This is the start...Baby K got a set of toy golf clubs, and she has "re-purposed" the tees. Daddy asked what she was doing, and she said "Knitting." That's my girl!

And the finish...I have about 21 inches (150 stitches) of Kitchener stitch to do to seam the back of my sweater vest. This is my oldest knitting project - begun in the Fall of 2005. Amazing how long garter stitch takes when you are a beginner! I am trying to be a monogamous knitter and get this thing done, so I haven't even looked for a place online to order more yarn for the miter square blanket.

Monday, February 16, 2009

Shopping Report

I needed some supplies and since Cotton Fields closed its doors, I decided to try some fabric and yarn stores closer to home. I didn't see anything that was dying to come home with me. Can you believe it?!?
I got the final border on JudyL's Shine On pattern, and I did manage to find some blue batik 108-inch-wide fabric for the back. It's ready for the longarm as soon as I decide how to quilt it. I don't really want to match all those different colors, so I may try an invisible thread and a feathery pantograph. I think this will be a donation for Quilts of Valor. (The photo looks funny because I edited out all the mess on my nightstands!)

I was hoping to find more yarn for my mitered square blanket. I am using Tahki Cotton Classic, which my LYS didn't have. (Since I hate to leave empty handed I bought some Noro Sock Yarn...pricey, but gorgeous of course!)The blanket is about half done. The non-blocked squares in the center are my "school colors." I desperately wanted to work on this project, but I didn't have any new color combinations, so I alternated the gold and burgundy of Arizona State with my chosen blue background. I might do a patriotic set so there are more "odd ball" squares with multiple colors. Looking at the photo, I see that I definitely need more light/bright colors! And I will switch the placement of the blocks...somehow all the darks ended up on the right, and I won't have the yellows right next to each other.

My brand new project, using only fabric that I have on hand, is the 2009 Block of the Month from Ricky Tims' The Quilt Show website. I loved paper piecing the feathered star center. Some of the squares in the four-patch border came from my first ever quilt project. Only 14 years ago, and they already seem dated! I much prefer bright geometrics to the traditional calico designs. I am trying to stay away from batiks in this one, so that eliminates at least a quarter of my stash.

Saturday, February 14, 2009

Bunny Pictures

I'm keeping track as Baby K grows by taking pictures with a stuffed bunny. I took monthly pictures the first year, and now every six months.

She quite a ham when the camera comes out!

For comparison, this was January 2007:
And on Feb,2009 at age two and a half!
I love you sweetie!